If you are born in...it is all you know. As a child you are naive and accept anything mommy and daddy say as the pen-ultimate truth. You are programmed to feel special...that you are chosen for life in the new world and the vast majority are not. you accept it...you go with it...and you see the wrongs and fall for the Jehovah sees and will act line. But more and more wrongs come to light and cognitive dissonance sets in. You don't even know why it is you feel so bitter....but...eventually you pull the scab off the wound...let it bleed a bit...then let it heal and move out of the mess.
But the damage takes a very long time to overcome.....
I was lovebombed at the time I needed the feeling of being cared for and loved by other people, aside from my family.
studied my way into the "truth"; solo-- and also out. ouch.
I was witnessed to by a workmate.
I was young, not happy with the religion I had been brought up in and considering my options as I wanted to understand the Bible better. Enter the jws and answers that I thought I needed. I often think that without having accepted the Bible due to my own upbringing I wouldn't have been such an easy target. My examination of the organisation led to examining the Bible and my leaning as now atheistic. Unfortunately this all happened too far down the track and I had two adult baptised children by then. One has left the other is still in and now I have grandchildren being brought up in the organisation. My contact was through friends who became jws, somehow it's easier to trust friends.
I see that for born ins there were no choices and I regret everyday that I taught my children to be jws. I made a choice that I thought would be good for my children, I couldn't have been more wrong. I can't believe it took me so long to leave.
I was around 20 when I was converted, as you say. Was coming out of a terrible series of traumas and bad shit. I too was brought up in a religious home but did not like our church. Enter JWs.... so shiny and clean and happy. Or so I thought. I got snared very fast and had no idea it would take close to 30 years to get out. I came to believe it all totally.
During a very bad spot in my life, I starting talking religion with a friend who was a JW. Informal witnessing led to a study which led to baptism. This was all during the run up to 1975. I was disillusioned a few years later, and out a few years after that.
I was about 4 when my dad decided to join so felt like a born-in. Don't really remember a time when we weren't associated with the witnesses.
Interesting to read the posts in this thread - thank you for your replies.
It almost seems like perhaps born-ins consider the converts to be a bit stupid, to have been sucked in by it all. :-)
Looking back, I remember many more than one born-in JW telling me 'how encouraging' it was for them to have someone like me from the world 'take the truth' - I often was perplexed by this... LOL.
I envied them being brought up as witnesses - why did they say that? The answer was that I'd truly made the truth my own....
I suspect there has to be several factors at play in ones life, for a cult to be so attractive and irresistible.
I think what makes it worse, is the united face of the JWS, friendly, intense interest and warmth towards new 'studies' - no- one lets on that they are in it because they are trapped. Everyone 'seems' so happy - one big happy family at the KH, at conventions etc. I was baptised just 2 years when the reality of dysfunctional life amongst witnesses started to reveal itself.
I can't imagine how awful it would be to be raised as a witness, to have all your family as witnesses - and to realise you don't 'belong' - being forced to play along simply for self survival.
I loved/love those guys. But the corporate dishonesty of it all really hurts.
If you were a convert and you could go back to your initial 'studies' - what questions would you now ask?